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Common Short Code (CSC)

Definition - What does Common Short Code (CSC) mean?

A Common Short Code (CSC) is a short numeric code used to access certain mobile services via the transmission of special Short Message Service (SMS) messages. A CSC is usually three to six digits in length and designed for quick and easy mobile device entry.

Supported by all major carriers, CSCs suit a variety of interactive purposes, including ordering ringtones or making charity donations.

Techopedia explains Common Short Code (CSC)

A CSC may be obtained from the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA), Mobile Application Service Providers (MASP) and wireless carriers. A CSC application must be submitted to the appropriate wireless carrier for processing.

CSC-based campaign development may be expedited by tapping into MASPs and their knowledge of the intricacies related to CSC campaigns. MASP services range from small projects to full-fledged campaign management.

CSCs are usually available as either of the following types:
  • Random: Upon campaign application approval, a random CSCA number.
  • Vanity: A user selects a number from the CSCA online database.


In a typical CSC campaign, subscribers enter SMS message text that is sent to the specified short code. For example, the text may specify a ringtone name or account number.

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